5 people who trade on their brother’s success


Leon Hendirx

The very LEAST you can say about Jimi Hendrix is that he was the most admired, emulated and loved guitarists/sonic innovator of the 1960’s. The Beatles were envious of him. Eric Clapton was envious of him. Bob Dylan heard his version of “All along the Watchtower” and decided that that is the way he should have done it. When I was learning Guitar his shadow stood long 25 years after he had died.


Leon Hendrix. Is Jimi Hendrix’s younger brother. After years of spending time in prison on mostly drug charges he turned his life around and became and expert draughtsman at Boeing. Good gig, great end of story right? Except then he decided that this playing guitar thing looked easy. So he thought he’d give it a go. So now he goes around singing and playing guitar. Guess whose songs he mostly plays? I’ll give you a clue he’s not a Santana fan. Leon “Plays” Hendrix except he doesn’t, he plays a few chords while a chubby white guy plays Hendrix and he “sings” over the results. Now look, maybe Leon loves the blues but man it sure looks like someone who is totally indifferent to the blues crooning along to a band that happens to be behind him.

To give him his due, He sure sounds like he could draught the hell out of an aeroplane.

Leon has produced two albums in 2000’s althought it’s probably galling that his brother was more prolific during the same period producing four albums and not letting a little thing like death slow him down. On his website, leonhendrix.com, they say while his CD “Keeper of the flame” was being recorded at Seattle’s Self Adhesive Records, “a purple glow was reported to been seen”. Make of that what you will.

Neil Connery

You may not know nor care that Sean Connery has a younger half-brother. But that’s not the attitude that the Italians had in the late 60’s. Such had been the appeal of Sean in the bond films they were desperate to make their own version of them. So they tried to get Sean Connery who of course being under contract with the Broccoli brothers said he couldn’t do. I like to think that he said “You could try my non-actor younger brother, he’s not up to much” As a joke… but they did. Then they faced a quandary….how to infer to audiences that they had an actual Connery in their obvious Bond rip-off and not just some guy who looked and sounded nothing like Sean?

Well in Italy it was known as “Operation younger brother” but in the rest of the world it was known as “O.K. Connery”. It must have been something of a shock to the film makers that Neil has an Irish accent not a Scottish accent… So they had to dub him. One of the few times in an Italian movie that the UK actor was dubbed…into English. It must have been something of a shock to Neil moving from being a plasterer to the fast paced sexually charged world of Italian cinema. But credit too him, you can barely tell watching the film. He still acts every scene very much like a plasterer trying to get the hang of these “Martinis”.

The film was a middling success, helped by the inclusion of a lot of talent that had worked on actual bond films and hindered by a charisma free Bond . So Neil went back to Plastering but an injury in 1983 forced him to quit. Whereupon he decided to take up acting again….you have been warned.

Joe Estevez

As Charlie Sheen is to Emilio Estevez so to Martin Sheen is to Joe Estevez…..

Well that might be a little bit disingenuous. Martin Sheen is arguably one of the great American actors of his generation. Whereas Joe is arguably…not even a good stand-in for his brother. As the older brother Martin got into acting first. Getting his first gigs in the early 60’s. Joe didn’t get into the game till the early 70’s by which time his brother was already a star. He did stand in for his brother in Apocalypse Now….in shots where he is seen from behind going down a river…..whilst Martin was recovering from a heart attack that had been bought on by Francis Ford Copella. Other career highlights include “Soul taker” and “Werewolf” no, not the one you’ve seen. Unless you’re an MST3K fan.

Also “Max Hell Frog Warrior” and “Untitled Horror Comedy” yes…seriously. Whilst he looks less like his brother these days and more like his Character from Soul Taker he does sound like him. Something he is now using to his advantage in VO for National Rifle Association commercials. Because when you can’t get President Bartlett you get the man who starred in “Untitled horror comedy”

Mike McGear

You might not have heard of Mike McGear or at least you don’t know that you know who he is. Mike was the lead singer and main songwriter of The Scaffold a band who had a few hits in the late 60’s Their biggest hits were “Lilly the Pink” which was a song that I had to sing in school and “Thank you very much” a song that thanks no-one in particular for a list of random things  with no explanation given for this sudden rush of gratitude.

Like every musician in London on the 1960’s Mike was inspired by the Beatles, when the Beatles were at their peak Mike was an apprentice hairdresser but hearing them on the radio day to day made him think that he could do that, it didn’t hurt that Paul McCartney was his older brother so really how hard can it be? Like the older McCartney he went solo from the early 70’s and very much like him he had a dubious solo career right up till the 1980’s. Whereupon he retired from the music business. Unlike McCartney Mcgear actually recorded with Hendrix. The real one, not Leon.

McCartney did an album with McGear in 1974 called “McGear” where McCartney produced and co-wrote the songs and had Wings do the backing for which made it…well listenable at least in comparison to The Scaffold.

Wait… your saying….McCartney did Silly love songs…how bad can this be?!?!??

This bad.


Ron Gallagher

There’s trading on your brothers act/success/fame and then there’s simply stealing the act.

You might have heard of Leo Gallagher, or you might just know him as the guy who hits a watermelon with a mallet as the finale of his act…and then wondered why that is considered “Comedy”. As with everything the art is in the setup. As in if you go to one of his shows you will probably feel like you have been setup.

None-the less there’s no denying that people seem to want to see a guy who’s famous for destroying fruit. He’s a success, if only professionally. In the 80’s his brother Ron (who looks exactly the same as him) wasn’t doing so well, so badly in-fact that he asked his brother if he would mind if he could use his act. Leo said “That’s fine, so long as you make it clear that your “A” Gallagher not “The” Gallagher. A distinction that was apparently lost on audiences who evidently A: Didn’t know that Leo even had a brother B: Didn’t care who was smashing fruit for them so long as he had long hair and was yelling something at them while it happened.

So people turned out in droves to see the “New” Gallagher, billed as “Gallagher too” or sometimes “Gallagher Two” or sometimes just “Gallagher” which is what got Ron sued by Leo in the early 2000’s. There was an outcome but do you care? The fact remains that your chances of seeing someone hit a watermelon with a large mallet is double what it was in the late 70’s. So a win for us all.



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